Florida Senate passes version of pill mill legislation
The Florida Senate passed a pill mill bill today, but not without some hurdles. Though they are both in agreement that Florida has a troubling prescription drug overdose problem, state Rep. Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill, and Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, have long been at odds over how to implement a database that would track prescription drugs in the state. #
The House sent over its version of a pill mill bill, which included a cap on the dosage of “highly addictive” medications, and stipulated that only pharmacies owned by publicly traded companies or those with more than $100 million of taxable assets in Florida (and those that have been continuously permitted for 10 years) could dispense medications. Many believed the stipulation could harm smaller, family-run pharmacies. #
According to Greg Giordano, Fasano’s chief legislative aide, the Senate and House were initially unable to make a compromise. “We tried to see if we could work on some issues, and the House wasn’t willing to accept many of the things that we wanted,” says Giordano. “So Fasano filed a strike-all amendment to the bill. Over the last 24 hours or so, the attorney general got very involved in negotiations between both sides. Today, we filed and passed a version of the bill which was a great improvement over what had been previously offered.” #
The 5,000-unit dosage cap has been removed from the bill, and the portion that would impact small pharmacies would be pushed back till July 1 of next year, which will give mom ‘n’ pops an entire year to comply with the new permitting process. #
The bill is now in the House and, if passed, will next move to the governor’s office for final consideration. #
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